What is the difference in the AKC British Labrador Retriever and the American Labrador Retriever

The basic difference between the English and the American Labrador is certainly not a matter of barking with an accent. The differences between these two retriever breeds are their temperament and behaviors as field trial dogs or exhibition dogs.


The original Labs were neither American nor English; they came from Newfoundland, where they worked alongside their owners to pull in fishing nets. They were truly "working" dogs, also knows as the water dog.

At the beginning of the 19th century in Britain, this breed began to be crossed with the spaniel dogs earning a reputation as a top game retriever for hunting purposes.

The breed was recognized in 1903 by the British Kennel Club, and the American Kennel Club in 1917. In both the US and UK, Labradors are consistently among the dog breeds with the highest number of annual enrollments. Currently, they are kept more so as a pet but are still sought after as hunting partners.


The height of the American Labrador in its adult stage is somewhere between 21.5 inches to 24.5 inches to the shoulder, where the average height of the English Labrador ranges from 21.5 to 22.5 inches. When it comes to both types, the males are larger as compare to the females. The American Lab is a bit heavier in weight, between 60 and 90 pounds. The average weight of a British Lab is around 40 to70 lbs.


Both American and English Labradors standard color range from black to yellow, never golden, as this color is more representative in the Golden Retriever. The Labrador can also be brown, or more commonly called chocolate. The latter may appear in a dark silver or reddish color, but these colors are not recognized by either the AKC or UKC organizations.

Working dogs

Both dogs are excellent for hunting. There are those who think that the American breed is a more energetic personality; always ready to go, go, go, Somewhat hyper and driven. While others believe the British are more focused and easily trained to a task. British Labrador, is generally more robust, has a broad head and shorter legs. His body is shorter as compared to his American relative. They make excellent showmen, due to their ability to remain focused. In either case, the Labrador retriever requires much exercise, whether through long walks, runs or swimming. Both the American and English Labrador Retriever is a fun loving, happy dog that loves to play and be around us.

In short, there are considerable differences between both and ‘English’ and ‘American’ Labradors, both in disposition and looks. So who is better? The answer to this question depends on what you want from your dog and your lifestyle. American Labradors are usually more energetic, highly driven and suited for an active outdoor life. Where the English Labradors are calmer, more docile, focused on training and often better suited for a family pet.

Ruffwood Labs is committed to supplying you with the best companion dog possible, whether that be for hunting, showing or just a friend. We pride ourselves on the clean healthy environment our pups are raised in. We believe the healthier our pups are, the better suited they are to the lifestyle you wish to pursue with them by your side.

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